Rockhounding is the professional and recreational collecting of rocks and/or mineral specimens from their natural environment.
Early rockhounds were prospectors looking for valuable minerals and gemstones for commercial purposes. Eventually, however, more and more people have been drawn to rockhounding for recreational purposes, mainly for the beauty that rocks and minerals provide.
Getting started in rockhounding is easy; a collection can begin with a single “pretty” rock. However, there are many clubs and groups which the new rockhound can look to for help beginning their hobby. Libraries, bookstores, and “gem and mineral shows” are very good sources of published information on where to find such groups. Also, tourist info centers and small-town chambers of commerce can also supply valuable local information. The Internet can also be a useful tool and can help find buddies in the hobby.
The avid collector will learn quite a bit of mineralogy and geology in search of collecting location information as well as in the identification and classifying of specimens, and preparation for display. The hobby can lead naturally into lapidary or mineral and gemstone cutting and mounting. The needed equipment then includes rock saws and polishers. Many beautiful crystal varieties are typically found in very small samples which requires a good microscope for working with and photographing the specimen. The hobby can be as simple as finding pretty rocks for a windowsill or develop into a detailed and comprehensive museum quality display.
Many states regulate the collection of some rocks and minerals, even on public lands, so it is advisable to read up on local laws before prospecting. Be sure to leave any site you hunt in good condition. Fill in any holes you may dig, pick up your trash and take it with you. Do not disturb plant life. Your cooperation and responsibility is needed to keep areas open for others to enjoy.
“If it’s wet, it’s not a road. Trust me on this one!”
Sal RHS1 Admin…”HeySal”
Many rockhounding sites require driving and/or hiking to remote areas, largely on dirt, sand or rocky roads where there is a good possibility of getting stuck. It is always a good idea to travel in a group and to bring plenty of drinking water with you when traveling, especially in hot, dry climates. If you must travel alone, be sure to let someone know of your plans.
Here at RHS1 is where rock, gem, gold, fossil, artifact, and treasure hounds of the globe can unite for pleasure and business. We are building a center to meet every need of the rock and treasure hunting community.
Whether you are the head or member of a club (rock, gem, geology, paleontology, archaeology, gold prospecting, metal detecting, or treasure hunting clubs): run a business or website related to any of these themes: or are an avid professional or ametuer hunter on your own, rockhound station 1 is a valuable asset you can’t afford to pass up.